This chapter provides a critical review of the literature related to the problem area you are studying. This means that you should demonstrate your ability to identify and to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the theories or schools of thought relevant to your topic. You should also demonstrate your ability to identify how your study may contribute to the existing body of knowledge.
This chapter should close with the articulation of a conceptual framework, that is, a comprehensive synthesis of the analytical models and concepts which you used to answer your research questions. This framework consists of patterns of concepts and their interconnections. In other words, it explains how all the concepts fit together and how they relate one to another. The conceptual framework informs your data collection, in determining what ‘measurable’ concepts may constitute empirical evidence, and in determining the nature of the data to be collected.